Wednesday, April 26, 2017

URCA 2018: Wed., April 11

Save the Date for the 2018 Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Symposium for Wednesday, April 11.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Emily Law Models Impact of Squeezed Light on Quantum Noise

Courtesy Caltech/MIT/LIGO Laboratory
Physics and Mathematics major Emily Law will present at the 12:45 p.m. poster session at URCA on April 11. As advised by her faculty sponsor, Dr. Rodney Michael, she will explain "the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), (which) is dedicated to detecting cosmic gravitational waves and determining their astronomical origin. LIGO has recently made several detections of black hole mergers by measuring laser fluctuations in the arms of its interferometer." She will also "describe a computational code that calculates the quantum noise in (a) prototype experiment...(eventually leading to) understanding the effects of squeezed light on quantum noise (which) will allow for better observations of gravitational waves in the future."

Friday, April 7, 2017

Music Quartet Demonstrates Performance without a Conductor

At the 2 p.m. URCA session in the Trustees Room, Chanel Bluntschly, Michael Byndas, Joshua Thompson and Jason Wolf (Environmental Science, Actuarial Science, Music Education and Geology majors, respectively) will explain and demonstrate through a music quartet performance the communication skills needed to perform without a conductor. 

With Dr. Thomas Reed as their faculty sponsor, the students play as a saxophone quartet without a conductor and must take on the responsibilities of changes in tempo, stops and starts, volume, and every other aspect of a piece. As the players move with each other, listening to the other musician’s parts, a circuit is completed which allows music to be made. To help demonstrate the skills that their ensemble has developed, there will an explanation of techniques to watch for followed by a presentation of a few excerpts to illustrate these skills.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Isabella Steiner Investigates Salamanders

Biology major Isabella Steiner will reveal the results of her study "A Population on its Way Out? Investigating the Population Size and Ploidy of Ambystomid Salamanders at the Ashland University Black Fork Wetlands" on Tuesday at the 2017 URCA Symposium during the 11:45 a.m. poster session in the Alumni Room.

With support from her faculty sponsor, Prof. Merrill Tawse (Biology/Toxicology), Isabella asked the question whether the ambystomid salamanders is a stable, increasing or a declining population. After trapping, counting and categorizing the salamanders, they were then tested for polyploidy (occurrence of additional sets of chromosomes). Find out the results at #URCA2017.

Wirtz Argues for Fair Treatment of Syrian Refugees

Triple major Emily Wirtz (Psychology, Creative Writing, Religion) will present her arguments for the acceptance and fair treatment of Syrian refugees at URCA's 2 p.m. session in the Trustees Room on April 11. Titled "Am I My Brother’s Keeper?": A Catholic Response to the Refugee Crisis and Wrongful and Assimilation and sponsored by religion professor Dr. Craig Hovey, "This research project addresses some of the moral and political issues relating to the Syrian refugee crisis from a Roman Catholic perspective." In her abstract, Emily further explains that she was drawn to this issue due to the experience that she had during a summer internship at the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker House, which allowed her to peek into the modern world of a refugee and recognize the humanity that Catholic Christians are called to see.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Courtney Wade Presents Her Study on Ohio Prehistoric Artifacts

With faculty sponsors Dr. Dolly Crawford and Dr. Nigel Brush, geology major Courtney Wade will give an oral presentation of her project "GIS to Model the Distribution of Archeological Artifacts as a Function of Environmental Variation in Ohio" at the April 11, 3:15 p.m. session in the Convocation Center's Trustees Room. 

As described in her research abstract, "Flint projectile points are tools that Prehistoric American Indians used near their campsites. These artifacts were made using techniques unique to the Holocene time periods known as Thebes and Dovetail. Many artifact locations are known in Ohio, but little is known about the correlation between artifact manufacture and environmental conditions present at the time. A geographical information system (GIS) was used to map locations of projectile points and to create estimates of artifact densities. Results suggest that the location of Holocene communities in Ohio were strongly influenced by the climate. These results can help to provide additional insight into movement patterns of human settlements in Ohio during this time."

Alicia Jones Combines Art & Psychology for URCA Presentation

With a double-major in fine art and psychology, Alicia Jones used her knowledge and experiences to develop her oral presentation titled "Behind Closed Doors: What We Bring to the Table." Sponsored by Professor Keith Dull, Alicia explains in her presentation, "I draw inspiration from the struggles and negative events that I have experienced in my own life or have witnessed in another’s. The process of making art is therapeutic and helps me deal with my own thoughts and emotions on these troubles in a healthy manner. Difficulties I focus on are depression, drug abuse, alcoholism, domestic violence, self-harm, suicide and eating disorders. However, I use symbols like children and dandelions to help maintain an element of hope throughout." Hear Alicia's presentation on Tuesday, April 11 at 10:30 a.m. in the Trustees Room of the Myers Convocation Center.